Ahead of a similar Kenyan move, the Ugandan Cabinet has approved the elevation of nine areas to city status.
According to Local Government minister Tom Butime, the Cabinet meeting chaired by President Yoweri Museveni in Entebbe on Monday resolved that the municipalities be elevated in phases.
The President said a budget of Sh130 billion will be set aside for the operation of the cities after all requirements are met.
The move is part of a government plan to turn nine municipalities into regional cities.
Five of the cities are set to become operational on July 1, 2020.
The cities include Arua, Gulu, Jinja, Fort Portal, and Mbarara, which will be elevated from municipal to city status by that date.
Hoima and Mbale will become cities in July 2021.
Fort Portal, Mbarara and Hoima will be regional cities in western Uganda; Entebbe in the central region; Lira, Arua and Gulu in the northern region, and Mbale and Jinja cities in the eastern region.
This is similar to Kenya’s Urban Areas and Cities (Amendment) Bill 2017, which is yet to be implemented.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the Bill into law.
The law is poised to elevate Nakuru and Eldoret towns to city status.